Wednesday, January 24, 2007

In Which I Wear Many Hats

The big news today was City Hall's final approval on our plans. Now, our subcontractors can move forward with pulling the permits they need to get their respective jobs done.

[A special note to Karl, who I know now reads the blog: Thanks for holding my hand throughout the process. You made an overwhelming experience less so and brought us that much closer to opening the doors on time.]

Plans approved, it was time to get on the telephone and start scheduling the crews who've been waiting for approvals along with us. Is it wrong to wish that the only role I have to play some days is General Contractor? I feel good about the progress we've made, the pace we're moving at, and comfortable with what we have left to do with what remains of the timeline. So why, on days like today, does it seem like we're no further ahead than we were yesterday?

I think the answer lies in the demon that is multi-tasking. You'd think it wouldn't challenge me the way that it seems to be, right? Working the line in a commercial kitchen all you're doing is multi-tasking: one eye on the starters for the the tables that were sat ten minutes ago, the other on entrees for a party of eight, and the eye in the back of your head is staring down modifications to a dish to accommodate dietary restrictions and all the while you're tracking inventory so the servers can communicate there are only two catch-of-the-day specials left.

The difference is that the multi-tasking I do in the kitchen is single-minded: produce quality product to be delivered the customer in a timely fashion. In other words, the only hat I wear in there is my chef's toque.

Today, you could name almost any department that makes up the whole of a company and I was at its head.

Human Resources: scheduled a meeting to further explore employee group plan options (health); interviewed a candidate for dining room manager and reviewed additional resumes.

Accounting: invoice and receipt filing--they're coming in fast and furious now that work's being done.

Food & Beverage: scheduled a tasting with a chef candidate for early next week (two starters, one salad, one entree; two items must be off our menu, two from the candidate's personal repertoire).

Finance: delivered pertinent financials to Point-of-Service leasing company (believe it or not, purchasing a POS system, after installation and training, is the greatest single-item cost--more than the bar, nearly ten times the cost of the light fixtures).

Information Technology (IT): confirmed our business DSL installation.

Marketing/PR: the only hat I didn't wear today because it's snug on Maureen's head.

No wonder my head feels to explode. And no wonder that the very last thing I want to do when I walk through the door tonight is cook dinner. It's also the very last thing Maureen wants to do as she worked in Boston all day and beause she manages our personal budget I know takeout isn't an option.

Cooking at home amounts to my contribution to the household. Makes sense, no? Trouble is, the last few nights I've been lacking in motivation and desire. Not that that matters to her because trust me, I get the way longer end of the stick when it comes to the house and by no means do my equal share. She'd said though, that once I went back to work we'd split up the cooking a bit. I am just now figuring out that what she means by 'back to work' is earning an income again.

If that's not motivation for getting the doors open and taking downtown by storm, I don't know what is (kidding). Dinner? One of our reliable standbys--mexican pasta. Seared pork, cut into small strips, red and green bell peppers, diced tomatoes, black beans and sweet corn, which I realize isn't much of a recipe, but give a guy a break, okay?

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